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Charges for extras

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  • Charges for extras

    I'm thinking about taking a couple of full care boarders. Currently I have only training horses and my fee includes almost everything - blanket changes, booting, grooming, standing wraps, bathing, etc.

    I've only boarded in two barns before I purchased my own place and I'd like to get a feel for what most boarding barns include in their full care board price.

    Do most barns include blanket changes (any limit per day), grooming (as in picking feet once or twice a day), first aid, etc.?

  • #2
    Full board at my farm includes blanket changes. Everyone has a blanket and sheet, sometimes they are worn alone, sometimes layered. So depending on the weather, determines the number of clothes and changes. If boarders are using my vet & farrier, then holding is also included. No one has required boots, that would probably be an extra. I don't groom or bathe. If a horse is sweaty or dirty, I will give a rinse. I want everyone looking their best

    Should anyone need first aid and the owner can't, I would. I guess depends on the extent of the first aid, if this would be an extra.

    What do the barns around you charge? I am a small, private farm with a few boarders. The things I include in full board would probably be extra at a show barn or included but at a higher board price.

    Comment


    • #3
      Depends...

      I haven't boarded at a place that charges for blankets personally, but one was a "your horse has ONE blanket that is put on when it gets ___ cold out and comes off when its ___ warm out." I was always around so I could layer when I wanted, they just didn't want to change 32 blankets every morning and night! The rest really didn't mind the changes and did not charge.

      If your only picking out feet to keep your aisles cleaner (I was at one of those too!), then I wasn't/wouldn't charge. If your talking about grooming so they can just hop on and ride, then yes I would expect a charge.

      Same for basic first aid. If Peanut has small scrape, take care of it and then tell owner. This way you're not using all your first aid stuff on boarders' horses or you can charge for new tube/tub/bottle of whatever. I've been to barns that charged $1 per gram of bute for a one day soreness and others that give me the first day free (I then buy my own).

      It really depend on how "active" your boarder's are going to be and how much can they take care of on their own.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CADreamer View Post
        I'm thinking about taking a couple of full care boarders. Currently I have only training horses and my fee includes almost everything - blanket changes, booting, grooming, standing wraps, bathing, etc.

        I've only boarded in two barns before I purchased my own place and I'd like to get a feel for what most boarding barns include in their full care board price.

        Do most barns include blanket changes (any limit per day), grooming (as in picking feet once or twice a day), first aid, etc.?

        I think you are asking the question slightly the wrong way, especially coming "down" to full care boarding from "training board."

        You want to include in the full service price and services the stuff you think horses need when you look out at your barn.

        If you think that's blanketing, fly spray and masks, do that and add it into the price. Why? Because it's going to bum you out when the owner says "no thanks" to these "extras" and you have to look at what you consider an unhappy horse.

        Make "extra" the stuff you don't think most horses ordinarily need. So, booting for TO? Cold hosing? Charge for that, but don't make the fee punitive. Just make it fair.

        Your local market will probably establish the upper limit you can charge. But! If you care for the facility in a way that makes it better than most boarding barns because you run your training program out of it, then steel yourself charge a little bit "too much" and wait for the person who appreciates, say, maintained footing and stalls picked pm to come along. We are out there.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          I already pick stalls at night check for day turnout and during the middle of the day if they are on night turnout. I bed fairly deeply, I feed free choice hay but I do have a limit of 2% of bodyweight for hay. I'm very agreeable about grain choices as long as I can get it locally and it's no more expensive than what I currently feed.

          My concern is that some regular riding boarders might expect more because of the services I provide to my training horses which I care for as if they were my own. For example, grooming and picking feet. My boarding experiences never included any kind of grooming unless I paid extra, which, if I couldn't get to the barn for some reason, I willingly paid.

          I just want to make sure I can establish appropriate limits and boundaries at the outset and not have to back track later. For example, no snookums will not have 3 blanket changes a day and her feet picked out twice a day unless you want to pay extra. I would expect local riders to be out frequently enough to take care of most of the grooming except in unusual circumstances, like a very muddy horse, ice balls in the hooves, etc. Blanket change at morning and night is no problem. Dragging them in from the field I would think would be an extra charge, except of course, for an unusual change in the weather.

          I guess what I'm looking for is what is the norm for a mid priced barn. Nothing fancy, schmancy, no tack up service, no grooms, just me and a part time working student, but excellent care and decent facilities.

          Comment


          • #6
            You just need to spell all this out in a good boarding contract.

            If a boarder wants a different feed which is more expensive I just charge the difference.

            Comment


            • #7
              Again, do what you think is "necessary" and include that in your price. List what comes with full board on your contract. Note that all other services have charges attached. Staple your current price list to the contract.

              Your place sounds great! I'd come for deeply bedded stalls and maid service 2x/day. That's hard to find.

              As an owner, I'd also like to see picking feet when then they come in from TO a "standard" part of board. Going out? I wouldn't worry so much. There are several great reasons to have someone look/feel around the legs enough to pick out the feet. I haven't found many barns who explicitly include picking out the feet when they come in as part of the plan.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat

              Comment


              • #8
                Guess I was very lucky. When I was in TX and boarding at a friends farm, she charged me $200 a horse, at the time I was doing my own care. IF I couldn't get out there, if an emergency arose that prevented me from feeding on time, she fed or watered for me, at no extra charge. If a horse was hurt, she would call and ask what I wanted done or one time, when one of her horses went after my mare, she got hurt, she called our vet and then called me and picked up the bill.

                I guess it is what you are willing to do or if your willing to nit pick at every little thing and charge for what I personally would consider silly stuff. Course, when my friends horses needed feeding or care when they were sick or if they were out of town, I willingly took care of their animals for them, so they knew they could count on me.
                "Promise me you'll always remember: your braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." By Christopher Robins to Pooh

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by QH_Gal View Post

                  I guess it is what you are willing to do or if your willing to nit pick at every little thing and charge for what I personally would consider silly stuff. Course, when my friends horses needed feeding or care when they were sick or if they were out of town, I willingly took care of their animals for them, so they knew they could count on me.
                  She's asking about full care. If Snookums needs standing wraps every night, that would be extra. Time is money. Extras aren't nitpicking. If a horse needs something extra everyday, yes I would charge for it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CADreamer View Post
                    I'm thinking about taking a couple of full care boarders. Currently I have only training horses and my fee includes almost everything - blanket changes, booting, grooming, standing wraps, bathing, etc.

                    I've only boarded in two barns before I purchased my own place and I'd like to get a feel for what most boarding barns include in their full care board price.

                    Do most barns include blanket changes (any limit per day), grooming (as in picking feet once or twice a day), first aid, etc.?
                    blanket changes turning out or in are the norm things to do when looking after other peoples horses

                    you set it in your charges like
                    part -livery everything but riding
                    list it all to include feed hay etc

                    full livery everything to include riding
                    list it all to include feed hay etc exxercise

                    assited livery turn out bring in and assit the owner with ther care management

                    then grass livery or diy box and grassing owners to everything themselves

                    so you have a it set out for each thing then any other duties they want you to do is arranged between you and the client as extra

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by QH_Gal View Post
                      Guess I was very lucky. When I was in TX and boarding at a friends farm, she charged me $200 a horse, at the time I was doing my own care. IF I couldn't get out there, if an emergency arose that prevented me from feeding on time, she fed or watered for me, at no extra charge. If a horse was hurt, she would call and ask what I wanted done or one time, when one of her horses went after my mare, she got hurt, she called our vet and then called me and picked up the bill.

                      I guess it is what you are willing to do or if your willing to nit pick at every little thing and charge for what I personally would consider silly stuff. Course, when my friends horses needed feeding or care when they were sick or if they were out of town, I willingly took care of their animals for them, so they knew they could count on me.
                      You were very lucky. We had a couple of self care places near us in Maryland that would bring in your horse at night, but only if the stall had been mucked. You were pretty much on your own. But then, you were a friend, not just a boarder, right?

                      I've never boarded in a barn that included everything, including a fairly high end eventing barn in Maryland. You got excellent care, but all grooming was to be done by the owner or paid for as an additional charge. They would put on/remove blankets, but no blanket changes (stall to turnout, etc.) Holding for routine farrier and vet calls were no charge, but for other visits, there was a holding charge. Applying wraps, meds if the horse was difficult, lay-up of more than 2 days all were an additional charge. We did pay for training rides once a week in addition to twice weekly lessons and the BO cleaned the tack lightly after she rode, which I really appreciated. Additional charges for salt blocks in stall, you had to provide your own feed buckets. You had to pay a fee for a screen door, other wise you got the regular wooden stall door, fee for heated bucket, fee for fan (which I completely understand, now that we've gone through a bunch of fans and buckets and had to repair a stall gate or two, not to mention the cost of electricity although I do charge when a destructive horse destroys a bucket to replace it.) The door was a one time fee, the bucket and fan were a once a season fee. Water buckets were supplied. Fee for extra hay over 1 1/2% of bodyweight. Fee for grain over a certain amount (can't remember, I had a very easy keeper).

                      I only have a retired boarder now on my farm and my fee is all inclusive. Owner pays only for supplies in addition to board fees.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Besides what other barns do, what do YOU want to do? In other words, do you really want to keep track of "extra" blanket changes, etc?

                        Think about both sides of the equation -- not only what's out there, but what *you* are comfortable with. I was an office manager at a big barn for a very brief time, and they would charge extra for everything. Doing the billing with the BO was a major headache . . . but it worked for them. I have a small barn (so not comparable to you) and I already know I would go crazy if I had to keep track of every little thing, so I've decided the level of care I am comfortable with and think is best, and that's what I offer, all inclusive. If someone wants a lot more, they just have to go to another barn that offers the services they are looking for.
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                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "Full board" to me means: (I'd consider "training board" quite different)

                          1. a stall that is adequately bedded and cleaned every single day. God might have taken a rest on Sunday, but that doesn't mean I want my horses standing in sh*t for 48 hours!

                          2. plenty of clean water and hay/grass, as much as I want within reason, and as much concentrate as the horse needs. I have no problem supplying my own if the barn's brand(s) don't suit my horse, but would hope that might get a few bucks off my board fee.

                          3. plenty of turnout in safely fenced pastures, ideally at least 10-12 hours a day if not more, but I realize weather might make that temporarily difficult at times.

                          4. blankets on and off as needed, within reason--ideally I provide 2 or at most 3 different weights and the barn staff uses good discretion in which blankets to put on with the prevailing weather. I do NOT expect anyone to follow a spreadsheet to dress my horse in his six different sheets/blankets according to ridiculous twice-daily microclimate analyses.

                          5. I supply the supplements, the barn feeds 'em.

                          6. option to use the barn's farrier, dentist and vet and to participate in regular scheduling of these things is appreciated, but not mandatory.

                          7. a place to keep my tack and gear, within reason.

                          I would expect to pay extra for the following--hopefully reasonable fees! Charging by the hour or by the 15-minute segment is fair.

                          1. someone holding my horse for the vet/farrier, but having a horse occasionally brought in for these visits if I am running late would I hope be a perk at no charge.

                          2. first aid, bandaging, hand-walking, cold-hosing, giving medications, applying poultices, etc.

                          3. grooming, clipping, tack cleaning, bathing, mane pulling

                          4. storing/parking my trailer on site, although if there's PLENTY of room to do so it might tick me off a little.

                          5. extra blankets/changes, boots on for turnout, a stall fan, private turnout, double turnout if space is at a premium. Just don't try to rip me off with $25/month "electric fees" for the stinking fan that runs on $0.02/day!

                          6. extra bedding or hay that is significantly beyond a reasonably acceptable "normal" amount
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                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I keep my horses at home. I have 1 boarder, although that's mainly because I only have 3 stalls finished.
                            My board includes (for $300)
                            blanket changes-I'll change the boarder's blankets when I change my own horses' blankets. If I had a boarder that wanted blankets changed everyday, that would be extra.
                            Daily stall cleaning
                            free-choice hay
                            scrubbing water buckets as needed
                            heated water bucket in winter
                            up to 5 lbs Strategy grain a day
                            picking feet (I do this for free but only if the owner asks)
                            treats at bedtime
                            managing nutrition/bodyweight
                            taking into consideration any special needs the horse has
                            feeding supplements if they are in smartpaks

                            Extras would be things like...
                            Full on grooming
                            daily blanket changes
                            administering meds, oral syringes or needles
                            extra grain
                            extra hay (extra of the super high quality stuff that I don't feed free choice)
                            holding for vet/farrier
                            fan in summer
                            hosing off
                            treating wounds
                            ground training
                            handling badly behaved horses
                            private turnout
                            special turnout hours
                            come what may

                            Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              [QUOTE=deltawave;5300356

                              . Just don't try to rip me off with $25/month "electric fees" for the stinking fan that runs on $0.02/day[/QUOTE]

                              $25.00 per month electric fee does seem excessive. Did the barn have box fans or commercial fans? Each stall in my barn has a commercial fan, I don't like box fans. They do cost more to operate but not $25.00 per horse

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I used to never understand the big deal about blanketing until my guy got older and couldn't tolerate the cold. Those dadgum things are heavy! And they are generally a pain - mostly because I worry about my guys rarely have to wear them and I'm always afraid they'll find some way to kill themselves in them.

                                I've never boarded, though, and I've never had boarders so all I can say is that if it's inconvenient enough, that would make it an extra for me.
                                "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Deltawave I offer my boarders EXACTLY everything on your list and it seems to work great. My boarders have NEVER complained of the service I provide. I will also provide the poulticing, wrapping, cold hosing, hand walking and holding for vets/farriers at no additional charge either. As I only have five boarders here at home I can do this. If I had a barn of 20 that would be different.

                                  And I would never dream of charging anyone for horse trailer storage ? or using the stall fans in the summer. That's a new one on me.

                                  PS As we are a private facility (not registered as a business) our boarding rates are considerably less then the big equestrian facilities in our area. We offer the same amenities as the big barns but without all the extras added on and because we are not a "business" we do not charge this pesky 13% HST tax surcharge required in Ontario. I have a rather lengthy waiting list.......

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Hi. I am a boarder and would prefer to have a rate which includes everything. When I come to your facility you should be more interested in giving my horse quality care as opposed to how much it eats. I also tell you the size and kind of horse I have. If you feed timothy and I like it then give it free choice. You can not restrict how much grain you give because every horse needs a different amount. Someone may be boarding a pony that gets a handful of grain just because, but someone else may have a horse that is a 17.2 warmblood and be an hard keeper and may need more grain. You do balance out. I don't board at facilities that want to generalize horse care. I want a facility that will provide care based on my horses needs, NOT on a generalization.

                                    As far as grooming, riding and picking feet, I don't mind paying for those things, but if my horse has an accident and you see it needs cold hosing, then do it because you have been entrusted with the care of my horse and then I can assume that responsibility or then I can pay you for it.

                                    Sometimes, boarding facilities nickel and dime you for no amenities and inadequate ammenities. Trailer parking should always be free as space permits and then only on a first come first serve basis. We have a facility here that charges $750, they have no grass, only weeds, wants to limit your grain, etc. They stay full because they have been here a long time and have a great instructor.

                                    I am a good boarder and all I want is quality care at a fair price. Some people want to charge you for an equestrian center and all they have is back yard quality.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by msChevy007 View Post
                                      Hi. I am a boarder and would prefer to have a rate which includes everything. When I come to your facility you should be more interested in giving my horse quality care as opposed to how much it eats. I also tell you the size and kind of horse I have. If you feed timothy and I like it then give it free choice. You can not restrict how much grain you give because every horse needs a different amount. Someone may be boarding a pony that gets a handful of grain just because, but someone else may have a horse that is a 17.2 warmblood and be an hard keeper and may need more grain. You do balance out. I don't board at facilities that want to generalize horse care. I want a facility that will provide care based on my horses needs, NOT on a generalization.
                                      Sometimes it balances out, not always. There is a minuscule profit margin in boarding without training or lessons to keep the whole barn afloat. We started out with free choice hay and unlimited grain. Until we had a run of hard keepers. We now limit to 8lbs of grain (TC Senior or comparable price) and 2% of body weight in hay. Boarders are expected to provide adequate blankets for hard keepers and to address any problems that might be causing them to be hard keepers.

                                      You really do need to look at both sides of the equation and make sure what you require is equitable for both you and the barn owner.

                                      And if a barn charges $750 a month and is full...well then I guess they are not doing too badly in my book, whether you think so or not.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                                        Sometimes it balances out, not always. There is a minuscule profit margin in boarding without training or lessons to keep the whole barn afloat. We started out with free choice hay and unlimited grain. Until we had a run of hard keepers. We now limit to 8lbs of grain (TC Senior or comparable price) and 2% of body weight in hay. Boarders are expected to provide adequate blankets for hard keepers and to address any problems that might be causing them to be hard keepers.

                                        You really do need to look at both sides of the equation and make sure what you require is equitable for both you and the barn owner.

                                        And if a barn charges $750 a month and is full...well then I guess they are not doing too badly in my book, whether you think so or not.

                                        Comment

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